The Brilliance of Erin McCarthy – A Review of “Sweet”

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In book two of the “True Believers” series, we learn more about Jessica and Riley.  Let me tell you…they are worth getting to know!

Jess comes off as a spoiled rich kids while Riley is the older – HOT (if I could make this word flash in neon colors I would) -brother of Tyler.  Riley has moved back home after their mother passed away and Jess is struggling to find a place to stay for one week until her sublet apartment is available.  If you recall from book one, Jess and Riley are a lot like oil and water rather than moth and flame.
At first impression of Jessica in “True,” I really thought of her as the spoiled rich kid that was on this high horse and not a single person could measure up.  I also thought she was a bit slutty and mean.  In “Sweet,” we learn more about why Jessica is this way and that I may have misjudged her entirely.

Riley is super hot (tattoos, muscles on top of muscles, no shirt, low hanging jeans….YUM) and seemed like a loaner in the first book.  In this book we get to know Riley as a person and I have to say…be still my beating heart.  He’s HOT, soulful, intense, loyal, HOT, emotional, caring and did I say HOT.  Like really hot.

Erin McCarthy has a way with spinning a story that hooks you from the start.  You have no choice but to read and read until you finish.  I am in awe of her writing ability and the way in which she writes about average everyday people doing average every day things but with such interesting twists that one has no choice but to become immersed in the world that Erin has created.  Her characters have real life problems (no money, no place to live, drug addict mom, controlling parents, young people trying to find their own way in life) and Erin makes it interesting and heart wrenching.  I just love it.

I really liked this book. I liked it because of the twists that she puts on family dynamics.  Jess comes from this super well off family that wants to control every aspect of her life.  Her brother is a vindictive ass-hat and her mother is so self involved she can’t think of a single other person above herself.  Riley is poorer than dirt but the loyalty and love that he exudes is massive.  He would do anything – absolutely anything – for his brothers.  He gave up his dreams so that he could take care of his little brothers.

I also liked how she drives home the adage that opposites attract.  Rich, high styling, spoiled Jessica and penniless, rough, roofer, Riley.  It’s a stretch of the imagination that these two could hook up but Erin makes it believable and good!

I must admit that I am a big Erin McCarthy fan and would read just about anything she writes.  Trying to remove my bias and provided an honest to gosh rating, I would give this book a solid 4 stars.  Most definitely worth the read.

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Loved this book; “Come to Me Quietly” by A. L. Jackson

 

She loved him from the start.  Her brother’s best friend.  She needed to be with him only if it was to tag along on their teenage adventures.  No one knew how she felt; it was her secret buried in sketches that were for her eyes only.  He left her though and broke her barely teenage heart.

Jared is riddled with guilt for all that he had done in his past.  He bares the weight of all that is wrong with his world on his shoulders and refuses to let good things in, including Aly.  He returns after being gone for years and it’s very clear that he is on a path of self-destruction and will not drag Aly down with him.  He fights his feelings because he believes he is not allowed any joy in his life.  He is convinced that Aly will be tainted and ruined if she cares about him and so he fights his feelings for her.  Until one day, he can’t

This was a fantastic read, I loved it so much that I caught myself trying to read a couple of paragraphs ahead because I just didn’t have the patience to get there eventually.  I would scold myself and get back to where I was because I just couldn’t stand that I might have missed a very important detail.

Every word on each page was seeping emotions.  A.L. Jackson writes with such an intensity that I found myself getting so wrapped up in the story so much that nothing else mattered but finishing this book.  Jared is such a tortured soul and the guilt that he feels radiates from each page and smacks you right in the heart.

Great book, I would easily give this 5 stars!   I can’t wait to read the next one!

Review of “Breaking” by Claire Kent

This is a continuation of her “Escorted” book which I did not read yet but I don’t think that detracted from this book.

In this book Ander comes home from a long work trip troubled and sad.  He doesn’t want to worry Lori with what is bother him but she knows something is wrong.  He is falling into old habits that he had when he was an escort which is not like he has been with her since they became a couple.  

Lori is so happy to have him home and allows him to wallow for a while but then changes tactics and demands that he open up to her and tell her what is wrong. 

This was a quick read and the author did a good job providing the back story so that folks like me that did not read book one before reading this one could get the jest of what happened in book one. 

Ander – awesome name by the way – is sexy to the nth degree.  Bald head and beautiful beyond description. 

 

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Lori is soft and loving and a romance novelist.  She is head over heals for Ander and you can feel the insecurity she feels that Ander is moving on or doesn’t want her anymore. 

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One of the things I love most about .5 books is that you see what happens after the main event.  It’s clear to me after reading this book that Lori and Ander had a hard time finding each other and convincing themselves that they belonged together.  Even with the spoiler of learning what happened in book one, I still want to read it now. 

I believe in rating novellas differently than I would rate a full story book and here is my criteria for this book.

Does it give you a good back story?  Check

Does it add some element that needs to be overcome?  Check Check

Does it keep you interested in the couple even after the original story?  Check Check Check

For that I give it  Image

 

My recommendation…Read “Escorted” then “Breaking.”  I think you will get more out of it if you do.  I plan to go back and read “Escorted” now.

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Review of “Mutual Release” by Liz Crowe

This is the second book that I have read from this author and I have to say this one is fantastic. I really liked the lay out of this book and how she wrote pretty much three stories, linked them all together and told a lifetime rather than just the moment that two people fell in love.

These characters had such detail and density to them that it made it really easy for the reader to truly FEEL their angst. The emotions were very profound, the characters were passionate and strong while having significant vulnerabilities.

To me this book was a home run. My only regret is that I have not read the first six in this series. Lucky for me that is easily rectified.

Evan is your average guy that has inner demons that he tries to overcome and some past mistakes that he has to learn to live with in his attempt to find happiness.

Julie is strong because of the horrors that are in her past. She trusts no one and for a long time after meeting Evan she doesn’t trust him either. He has to work hard to get through her barriers and find her heart but Evan doesn’t give up.

Damian is the perfect villain. He’s heartless from the start and crueler than cruel. He’s vicious and scary and just a perfect villain.

Great book….a solid 4 stars

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Review of “Slammed” by Colleen Hoover

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This book made me get angry, cry…a lot by like page 4, laugh, get sad, get anxious, get desperate, and ultimately fall absolutely in love with these characters and this write.

This is a book about loss and growing up. He easily demonstrates the profound sadness that one has when they’ve lost someone they love most in the world. It also shows how comfort can be found in many different forms of life and that grief takes many years to finally overcome enough to live again.

Will…WOWZA!!!
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He’s mature, sexy, emotional, and adorable in the way he falls for Lake. His adoration for her shows with their first encounter and just grows exponentially throughout the book. I loved that this book connected Will to Lake through the commonality of loss. He is there for her because he knows exactly what she has and will go through. No one else will get what Lake is going through except Will and what a great connection it makes.

Lake – How adorable is she
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She’s stronger than she thinks but not yet strong enough to deal with what she has to deal with in the coming years. Will is going to see her through her toughest years so far.

This book is the story of Lake and Will finding each other and overcoming the adversities of life that are dealt to them. It reiterates that life goes on and family should be the most important thing in the world to all of us.
Without giving away any spoilers, the roller coaster begins on page one and isn’t even over at the end…it continues in book two which I can’t wait to read!

What a great author, I loved her writing, her story telling and the emotions that she laid out on every page.

A shout out to Jessica for telling me to read this book next…you have great taste ❤

To all those people out there that love books, take Jessica’s – and now my – advice and read this book. But I warn you, get the tissue and keep it close, you’ll need it but you’ll love the story so much, you won’t mind.

Review of “REAL” by Katy Evans

OH. MY. GOD!!!!!

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This book had me entranced just by looking at word one and still hasn’t loosened its hold on me after reading it…twice!  I was so enthralled by this book that I read it in a day and turned right back to page one and read it again!
TI thought the characters were phenomenal.  You have Remy – an absolute sex God that will be in my dreams for a long time coming.  He’s hot, an MMA fighter and the complexity in him has you dying to figure out everything about him.  What is there NOT to love, I ask you.

Then you have Brooke who is just so darn adorable that you can’t help but feel the intensity of Remy’s reaction to her at first sight.  She is beautiful, strong, and has a fighter’s spirit, just like Remy.  I questioned her intelligence when she thought that Remy wouldn’t find out what she did but we all do stupid stuff when we’re in love so I overlooked it.  She has endured a lot in her life that makes her able to take whatever Remy dishes out and be his REAL.

The intensity between Brooke and Remy is off the chart, making each page a so hot that you don’t want to burn your fingers.  The love scenes were off the chart hot, sizzling, blistering, boiling, burning!
This was a true love story that I could read again and again.  There were points in the book that I thought were a bit too unrealistic but it’s a romance and to me, the book lived up to it.  

I would give this a super hot 5 stars.  Can’t wait to read more about Remy and Brooke in the next book.  When is it coming out again?

 

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Review of “Beyond Eden” by Kele Moon

Ok first of all I have absolutely found a fabulous author! Kele’s style of writing makes it easy to turn page after page and get lost in the story. She’s really good at making sure that she covers all of her details that were described in the very beginning of the book so that they don’t conflict at the end of the book. Her characters have the magnetism that draws you deeper into the story and has you enthralled with what is happening. The only thing and it is minor…I usually only like a little bit of kink and perhaps a bit of bdsm so there were moments that I cringed a bit too much during parts of the book because it was a lot more than “a little kink”. With that said though, I could not put this book down and, to be honest, this book might have just changed my mind a bit. I was dying to know how the story ended and if these characters would come to terms with their issues so that they could be together.

As I’ve seen in other books of hers, Kele is very good at building beautiful characters. Between Paul Guy, Danny Boy and Evie Girl, she built three beautiful people that fell in love with each other. They’ve been friends forever and have loved each other for what seems like longer. Both Paul and Danny are these gorgeous men that are needy in their own ways. Then there is Evie that for all intents and purposes, she is the other 1/3 to their 2/3’s. None of the three are completely whole without the other two.  While Danny and Paul were surviving for the long years that Evie was in New York pursuing her artistic dreams and having relationship issues herself, these men fell into a pattern that was somewhat void without her.  When she returns home, sparks ignite and its obvious that she is the only one that completes both of these men and makes them whole.

This book is not your conventional m/f love story. However if you are open minded enough and can appreciate pretty darn good writing, I think you’d like this book. Like I said not a book I would typically seek out to read but I’m really glad I had an open mind and read this book because I enjoyed it.

Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book for an honest review!

Keep’em coming Kele, I’ll read whatever you got!!

 

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